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The ARRL Letter
March 21, 2013
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There will be no ARRL Audio News on Thursday, March 21. It will return on March 28.

Amateur Radio Enforcement: FCC Reduces Pennsylvania Ham's Fine

After affirming it was going to uphold a forfeiture in the amount of $4000 to Jose Torres, N3TX, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the FCC decided to lower the fine to $3500. The FCC issued the fine in May 2011, saying that Torres' willful and repeated operation on an unauthorized frequency in April and June 2008 was in violation of Section 1.903(a) of the FCC's rules. Torres filed a Petition for Reconsideration in July 2011, asking that the FCC cancel or reduce the fine based on his inability to pay the full amount. Read more.

Support ARRL: ARRL Announces a Campaign for Its Second Century

As the ARRL draws closer to celebrating its Centennial in 2014, its Board of Directors has launched an unprecedented $10 million fundraising initiative to build the ARRL Endowment and strengthen the organization's financial future. Led by the ARRL Board and an eight-member Second Century Campaign Committee -- headed by David W. Brandenburg, K5RQ -- the campaign has already raised more than $4 million toward this goal. Plans are to reach that goal by the end of ARRL's centennial year in 2014.

"The vision of the ARRL Second Century Campaign is to secure significant financial resources that will open a path to passionate involvement in Amateur Radio for new generations," she said. "In this, it will provide opportunities for educational enrichment, community service and personal achievement through the exploration and use of the magic of radio communication." Read more.

Dayton Hamvention® Announces 2013 Award Winners

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) -- host of the Dayton Hamvention® -- has announced the winners of its four annual awards for 2013: the Amateur of the Year, the Technical Excellence Award, the Special Achievement Award and the Amateur Radio Club of the Year. These recipients will be honored at Hamvention in May. Each year, DARA invites the amateur community to nominate hams who have made significant contributions to the Amateur Radio Service. Read more.

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Check Out the April Issue of QST

The April issue of QST celebrates 75 years of W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station. So grab your print edition of QST -- or settle in with your computer or tablet to read the digital version -- and discover what the April issue has to offer.

Remote operation of your station via the Internet is gaining popularity. While operating the rig and antenna selector is fairly simple, controlling other station functions remotely can be a bit of a challenge. In his article "Remote Control of Accessories via the Internet," Jon Crisman, W0JEC, explains how to make this functions a bit simpler. In "The 2 Meter Q-Pole," Eric P. Nichols, KL7AJ, explains how this attractive and somewhat strange-looking antenna is the only kind of antenna capable of radiating omnidirectional diagonal polarization. In the first of a series of one night, easy to build projects, Paul Danzer, N1II, presents "Done In One: Temperature Alarm," which demonstrates how to build a device to warn you if your rig is overheating.

The world's most famous Amateur Radio station -- W1AW -- turns 75 in September. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, takes readers on a photo tour of the ARRL's flagship station in "75 Years of W1AW." In his article "Field Day the Solo Way," Thomas Mills, NU9R, gets a jump on Amateur Radio's most popular on-the-air event by showing that roughing it on Field Day can teach some valuable lessons. ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, reports on the ARRL's Board of Directors Annual Meeting and presents the recipients of three of the ARRL's annual awards in "ARRL Board of Directors Convenes in New Orleans for 2013 Annual Meeting."

ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Assistant Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, takes a look at the Yaesu FTdx3000 HF and 6 meter transceiver in this month's Product Review. He says this rig "brings a boost in features and performance to Yaesu's mid-priced transceiver range." You can find a video overview of the Yaesu FTdx3000 in the digital edition of the April issue of QST.

Of course, there are the usual columns you know and have come to expect in the April issue of QST: Happenings, Hints & Kinks, Eclectic Technology, The Doctor is In, Short Takes, Vintage Radio, How's DX? and more. Look for your April issue in your mailbox and in your inbox. QST is the official journal of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join, or to renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL web page.

ARRL Executive Committee Focused on FCC and Regulatory Items at March Meeting

The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) held its first 2013 meeting Saturday, March 9 in Irving, Texas. The meeting's agenda included items concerning the FCC and regulatory items, FCC enforcement, legislative issues and organizational matters. The EC is responsible for administering the League's affairs in between Board meetings. Read more.

The Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook Now Available for Kindle

The Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook is now available from amazon.com for the Kindle. This e-book is for all hams who volunteer their time and skill in service to their communities. It provides knowledge needed for communicating quickly and effectively during disasters, emergencies and community events, as well as an opportunity to learn more about the Amateur Radio Service and its unique role in supporting the public.

You do not need a Kindle to download and purchase The Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook: those who have the Kindle application installed on their Apple iPhone, iPod touch or iPad or Android smartphone -- or even on their computer -- can download the book for use on these devices. The Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook is available as a Kindle book from amazon.com for $24.99. The soft cover version is also available for $39.95 ($34.95 for ARRL members).

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ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee Seeks Comments on Draft 5 and 10 GHz National Band Plans

Last year, the ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee prepared -- and the ARRL Board of Directors approved -- updated national band plans for the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz after receiving extensive and helpful input from the user community. Last year, after the ARRL Executive Committee extended the Committee's charter to include the 5 and 10 GHz bands, it solicited additional input concerning usage on those two bands. The Committee has prepared draft band plans for 5 centimeters (5.650-5.925 GHz) and 3 centimeters (10-10.500 GHz). Read more.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager) image was taken in the continuum near the Ni I 6768 Angstrom line. The most prominent features are the sunspots. This is very much how the Sun looks in the visible range of the spectrum.

Tad Cook, K7RA, reports: This past week, the average daily sunspot numbers were up 16.2 points to 101.1, while the average daily solar flux remained about the same, rising from 118.5 to 119. An eruption on March 15 caused a coronal mass ejection (CME) that hit Earth on March 17, causing the planetary A index to jump to 46. The predicted solar flux is 105 on March 21-22, 100 on March 23-27, 95 on March 28, 100 on March 29-30, 105 on March 31, 110 and 120 on April 1-2, 125 on April 3-6, and back down to 120 on April 7-8. The planetary A index is predicted to be 10 and 8 on March 21-22, 5 on March 23-27, 18 and 10 on March 28-29, and back down to 5 on March 30-April 16. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, March 22. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

W1AW Announces 2013 Spring Operating Schedule

With the switch from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time on March 10, W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, has updated the W1AW operating schedule to reflect the change. Your local standard times have not changed, but the UTC times they reference have. Read more.

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ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday

ARRL Headquarters will be closed in observance of Good Friday on Friday, March 29. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, April 1 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • March 22 -- NCCC Sprint
  • March 24 -- UBA Spring Contest (SSB)
  • March 27 -- SKCC Sprint
  • March 27 28 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • March 29 -- NCCC Sprint
  • March 30-31 -- CQ WPX Contest (SSB)

All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more information. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Stations web page.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

To find a convention or hamfest near you, click here.

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for Amateur Radio News and Information

Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, Amateur Radio's most popular and informative journal, delivered to your mailbox each month.

Subscribe to NCJ -- the National Contest Journal. Published bi-monthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO Parties.

Subscribe to QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bi-monthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (bi-weekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and much more!

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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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